With flowers and capsicum in the driver’s seat, food sovereignty is impossible

A comparison of the politics of agricultural policy in two Indian states Gujarat and Chhattisgarh
01 January 2013
Paper

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute's Global Hunger Index, 2011, India ranks 67th among the 81 countries of the world with poorest food security; and this is when some states in the country have registered very high rates of growth in agriculture.

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute's Global Hunger Index, 2011, India ranks 67th among the 81 countries of the world with poorest food security; and this is when some states in the country have registered very high rates of growth in agriculture. The objective here is to understand how these contradictory facts coexist. To build such an understanding, the drivers of agricultural growth has been identified in this paper which includes two primary factors - classes of farmers whose interests dominate policy-making and examine how tenets of new policy are furthering class interests of ruling classes. It explored the industrial bourgeoisie alongside rural big farmer and landlord interest to see what character they have assumed in post-liberalisation era. This explained why there has been a shift from land reforms to input-centricity as the core of India’s post-liberalisation agricultural policy. The two states compared are Gujarat and Chhattisgarh based on empirical evidence gathered through fieldwork.

Third year PhD scholar, Development Studies Department, School of Oriental and African Studies. Sejuti Dasgupta has worked in the development sector in India as a researcher and tutored in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) before embarking on her PhD. She completed her Masters and M.Phil from JNU in Political Studies in 2008. Her area of interest is agrarian political economy in India and agricultural policy. Her field includes three states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.